Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Body of UCSB athlete pulled from Santa Barbara High School pool

UCSB Athletics

A 19-year-old UCSB student athlete and Santa Barbara High School graduate was declared dead at Cottage Hospital Monday morning after being pulled from the bottom of the high school's pool.

The victim, Nick Johnson, had been doing a "hard swim set" at the pool, according to his father's Facebook page. Three of the high school's swim team members—who also happen to have lifeguard training—made a "heroic effort" to pull him out of the water for resuscitation after spotting his body at the bottom, said Sgt. Riley Harwood, the Santa Barbara Police Department's public information officer. 

The victim was taken to nearby Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

"You could hear their crying from outside in the parking lot." - Sgt. Riley Harwood, SBPD

Johnson graduated from Santa Barbara High in 2012 and was "well-known and highly-regarded" by members of the high school's athletic department, according to Sgt. Harwood. He was a member of the varsity water polo team his senior year.

  The UCSB sophomore was majoring in psychology and was a member of the university's water polo team.

Santa Barbara High School staff is making arrangements for immediate grief counseling, as well as for students who arrive back to school next week after the conclusion of spring break.

The SBPD is currently investigating the incident. If nothing suspicious is found, the death will be turned over to the coroner's office.